Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri reckons that Axar Patel’s batting has been extremely important in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy and said that if it wasn’t for his knocks, the series would have been different. Axar’s batting has improved across the formats in recent times, but his efforts with the bat were of great importance in the first and second Tests. In Nagpur, the all-rounder amassed an important 84 runs which helped India win the match by an innings and 132 runs.
During the Delhi Test, Axar and R Ashwin’s partnership was the reason why India recovered from a batting collapse and got close to Australia’s total. India won the match by six wickets. The all-rounder is the third-highest run-scorer in the series with 185 runs to his name and has scored more than the likes of Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, and Steve Smith.
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On-air during the Ahmedabad Test, as per the quotes in News 18, Dinesh Karthik asked Shastri if he would have gone for Kuldeep Yadav instead of Axar Patel in the series. He asked, “Ravi Bhai, would you have gone with Kuldeep Yadav”.
The former India coach said he would have picked Kuldeep very early in the series but said that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy would have looked very different without Axar’s batting.
Explaining the same, Ravi Shastri said, “Very early. But if it wouldn’t have been for Axar’s batting, this series would’ve looked a lot different. India wanted strength in their batting, and they got it. Had it not been for his innings in Delhi, India wouldn’t have been able to be 2-0. And his innings in Kanpur.”
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Ravi Shastri also said that Axar has done the containing job well with the ball in Ahmedabad and the all-rounder is needed in the fourth Test. He explained, “You couldn’t have used him previously in the series. Because the ball was turning. Then Ashwin and Jadeja become your primary bowlers. But here, you need him. And he’s done the containing job well.”